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Bonus Smart Region Sessions

The Connective 

Brought to you by The Connective, these Bonus Smart Region Sessions will compliment your Winter Games agenda. Designed for advanced athletes, these sessions will elevate your knowledge to create smarter campuses, regions, and worlds. 

Missed a Session? Don't worry we have you covered!!

We know you’re an Olympian, but you’re also human and might not be able to attend every session. That’s why our Olympic Keynotes, Ski Lodge Firesides and breakout sessions will be recorded and shared to continue your quest for the gold (at your convenience). 

To watch a session, simply click the 'Watch Now' button below. 

We’ll be adding videos as they become available to the ShapingEDU YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to the ShapingEDU YouTube channel to be the first notified when new recordings are added!

 10:45 a.m. Olympic Village Breakout Sessions

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Breaking Down Digital Barriers in Smart Cities


  • Eric Ju Yoon Kim | Founder & CEO of DOT Incorporation
  • Joseph Flynn | Chief Technology Officer - Public Sector, Boomi 
  • Rob Silverberg | CSIO Digital Communities, Dell 
  • Bianca M. Lochner, Ph.D. | Assistant Chief Information Officer,  City of Phoenix


  • Diana Bowman | Arizona State University
  • Dominic Papa | Arizona Commerce Authority

The smart cities movement has evolved from sensors on light poles aimed at improving traffic flow to connected platforms that are practical, efficient and equitable for government, businesses and residents. The rapid urbanization of cities in America and around the globe coupled with the rise of technology in the past 20 years has presented technologists and policymakers with a unique opportunity to try to fix the problems with life in cities. However, with the acceleration of tech in cities, there is the worry that some cities are exacerbating an ever-increasing digital gap between those with access to digital tools and resources and those that do not have access. Realizing this, cities are beginning to work together for digital equity, to ensure all residents and neighborhoods have the information technology capacity needed for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.  This panel will discuss specific examples of collaborations between education, community and business partners on intentional strategies and investments to create opportunities and to reduce and eliminate historical barriers to technology access and use.

Watch Now
Smart Campus - Stories to Inspire Action and Share Successes


  • Barak Weinisman - VP & General Manager Cox 2m
  • Heath Price - Associate CIO University of Kentucky
  • Chris Richardson - Deputy CIO ASU

Moderated by: John Rome - Deputy CIO ASU 

As smart campus planning advances, one constant variable impacts the speed, trajectory and dismount: evolving stakeholder relationships. It all starts with building a collaborative mindset between technologists, educators and learners. Strap on those cross-country skis for the scenic route of intersecting and diverging perspectives from two smart campus leaders, Arizona State University and University of Kentucky. While their journeys and techniques may be nuanced, there is much common ground when it comes to defining what it means to be a smart campus today -- and 20 years from now. Cox Business, a significant R&D leader and investor in this space will share how sustainable practices call for sustainable solutions.

Fireside Chat & Evening Social

  Watch Now
4:00 p.m. State of the Smart Region

The Connective brings together 23 city, town, and county local government organizations, all to collaboratively create the nation’s largest and most connected Smart Region. Get the latest update on how The Connective is transforming Greater Phoenix into a top global market for innovation and technology. 

Following the State of the Smart Region, singer/songwriter Biddy Healey will perform an intimate acoustic solo set featuring music from her recent album, Salt River Bed. Healey's music is distinctive in its lyrical and harmonic richness, inspired by her hometown in Australia, the Sonoran desert surrounding Phoenix and the global ecological collapse we are now witnessing. Part entertainment and part exploration of the event’s themes, this performance will nudge you to connect more deeply to the country you are in. 




6:00 p.m. State of the Smart Region Gala

Dean Doug Sylvester, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University


  • Major General John Wharton
  • Supervisor Bill Gates | Maricopa County
  • Sandra Watson | President & CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority
  • State Representative Jeff Weninger | Legislative District 17D
  • Dean Sanjeev Khagram | ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management

Join the Institute for Digital Progress (iDP), ASU, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), MAG, Cox Business and the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) for the Annual State of the Smart Region Gala! We’re excited to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Smart Region Consortium, officially called the Connective.

In this exclusive event, the State of the Smart Region Gala will gather Elected Officials, Chief Information Officers, University Leaders, and Technology Industry Champions to network, discuss, learn and showcase the latest advancements of Smart Campus, City and Region initiatives.


  View Entire January 5th Event Schedule

9:00 a.m. Olympic Keynote

Cox Business 

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The Future of Sports and Entertainment
Robert Mathews | Collaboration Strategist, AVI Systems
Rick Schantz| Head Coach, Phoenix Rising FC
Mark Feller | VP of Technology, Arizona Cardinals
Salvatore Galatioto | President of Galatioto Sports Partners
Stephen Rusche | Sr. Director, Smart Communities, COX Business

From the slopes of Winter Games to the field -- what will the game day look like in 5, 10, 20 years? Join experts in technology and education for a lively conversation around the intersection of sports, entertainment and technology. Digital tools and smart approaches are pushing the boundaries of immersive sports experiences in modern sports facilities and classrooms alike. Get insights into the emerging relationships between sport and esports facilities -- a growing trend in higher education. The panelists will also make future-focused ideas concrete by sharing how local Arizona sports teams are thinking about the customer and spectator experience.

10:45 a.m. Olympic Village Breakout Sessions

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Smart Cities - Highlighting Local Stories from Cities/Towns in Maricopa County


  • Travis Cutright | CIO City of Mesa
  • Bianca Lochner | Assistant CIO City of Phoenix
  • Eugene Mejia | Deputy CTO Town of Gilbert
  • Jeanine Jerkovic | City of Surprise Economic Development Director

 Moderated by: Moderator: Chris Richardson | Deputy CIO ASU

Maricopa County in Arizona is home to a bevvy of cities and towns that have been stepping up in the face of the pandemic. Often the most Olympic-sized challenges lead to the local development of ideas and solutions that propel us into the future faster. This platinum medal session reveals the most shining silver linings from the local community as city leaders have leveraged lessons learned in COVID-19 to strengthen smart city infrastructure and strategic planning. Panelists make the trek downhill smoother by sharing new moves when it comes to competing against digital equity, building cross-functional teams that address the diversity of community needs and even navigating the Google Fiber RFP process.

 Watch Now
The Smart City Lab as a Catalyst of Urban Innovation


  • Debra Lam | Executive Director, Partnership for Inclusive Innovation | Atlanta
  • Kulle Tarnov | Head of Innovation, FinEst Smart City Centre for Excellence | Tallinn
  • Yael Malatskey | Head of Innovation, City Zone | Tel Aviv
  • Mark Dowd | Chief Innovation Officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority, New York

Moderated by: Jason Whittet | Digital Innovation Lead, ASU CIC | Tempe

Smart regions need mechanisms to bring the community together and bring ideas to life. Smart cities labs by many different names have become popular across the world as a resource for urban innovation. This panel brings together leaders from labs across the world to share best practices for challenge selection, design thinking and innovation mechanisms and how to scale ideas from prototype to adoption.

11:45 a.m. Olympic Village Breakout Sessions

Arizona Commerce Authority 

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Future of Mobility: Global Perspectives


  • Miguel Eiras Antunes | Global Smart City, Smart Nation & Local Government Leader, Deloitte
  • Alex Cardona | Transportation Engagement Office, State Farm
  • Miguel Gaspar | Deputy Mayor for the City of Lisbon


  • Diana Bowman | Arizona State University
  • Dominic Papa | Arizona Commerce Authority
To view a city from above is to observe a world in motion. Trains carry people to and from work; taxis circulate in abstract patterns; trucks deliver goods and carry away garbage; pedestrians hustle down city blocks; cyclists zip through traffic. Mobility is the lifeblood of our cities and essential for urban life. However, the way people move around the urban environment is primed for dramatic change. Technological innovations in the form of autonomy are on the horizon and the increasing urbanization with more people moving into cities and regions will provide the conditions for change. What, then, will be the future of mobility?

View Entire January 6th Event Schedule

9:00 a.m. Olympic Keynote

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Unlocking the Data to Drive a Smart Region Vision


  • Mayor Corey Woods | Mayor of Tempe
  • Dean Elizabeth Wentz | Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU
  • David Cuckow | Head of Digital Sector, BSI
  • Dr. Patricia Solis | Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU


  • Diana Bowman | Arizona State University
  • Dominic Papa | Arizona Commerce Authority

Board our luge for a thrilling smart-region ride through the world of making complex decisions and proposing novel solutions to challenges through the use of data. Riding with you on this 45-minute excursion will be other thrill-seekers including elected officials, policymakers, and members of the research community. We will navigate twists and turns along the path to building out a smart and sustainable region, data utilization challenges, and taking advantage of the intersection of sustainable development goals, international standards, and smart regions.

2:00 p.m. Olympic Village Breakout Session 

Arizona Commerce Authority 

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Automated Mobility and the Future of Cities


Ellie Casson | Head of City Policy, Waymo
Brandon Branham | Assistant City Manager/ CTO, city of Peach Tree Corners (Curiosity Lab) 
Micah Miranda | Economic Development Director, City of Chandler
Marisa Walker | Arizona Commerce Authority

Moderated by: 

Diana Bowman | Arizona State University
Dominic Papa | Arizona Commerce Authority

For city leaders, industry executives, and residents, automated vehicle technology has long been one of the most fascinating areas within the future-of-mobility space. This continues to be so, but 2020 certainly was a year in which optimistic forecasts had to be scaled back to a certain degree. Yet the underlying logic for automated driving, especially in cities, remains the same. We believe shared AVs can address mobility’s pain points in cities (such as road congestion, crowded parking spaces, and pollution) while revolutionizing urban mobility, making it more affordable, efficient, user-friendly, environment friendly, and available to everyone. 

This panel brings together Automated Mobility Leaders across both the private and public sectors. The panel will focus on where the current state of Automated Mobility lies and where 2021 will take us. These leaders will discuss key programs and strategies that will enable cities, industry, and academic research institutions to work together, collaborate, and advance the future of automated mobility in the U.S. 

4:00 p.m. Olympic Village Breakout Session 

 Watch Now
Rise of the Regions
Dean Sanjeev Khagram | Thunderbird School of Management
Brian Dean | The Connective
Raffaele Gareri | Chief Digital Transition Officer at the City of Rome 
Jennifer Sanders | Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Dallas Innovation Alliance
Philip Thigo | Director for Africa, Thunderbird School of Global Management 

How can we take all of the lessons learned from the event and begin collaborating together on a national/global scale? How can smart regions partner? What are some pathways for success that can be scaled?

View Entire January 7th Event Schedule


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2021 Winter Games Bronze Medal

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